David Trimble

Life
1944- ; Northern Ireland First Minister [name derived from Turnbull]; maternal descent from W. H. Jack, Unionist mayor of Derry and mbr. of Carson's UVF who trained at Finner Camp, Bundoran, and fought in WWI, 36th Ulster Div.; pat. gf. RIC-man in Cavan; mother b. Bundoran; Foundation of Northern Ireland (1991) argues that an offer of 4 counties by nationalists in 1913 wd have avoided the Troubles; raised in Bangor; law lect. QUB; offended by civil rights protests in Derry; joined Vanguard with Reg Empey, David Burnside, Jim Wilson and Tony Alcock; close to William Craig; contacts with Andy Tyrie and paramilitaries; attacked Faulkner in Assembly Elections of 1973; promised that he would ‘not allow murderers and quislings to destroy Ulster and hand it over to Republicans’; disputed Desmond Boal's theory of ‘federated Ireland’ with special safeguards for Protestants; assisted Loyalist Strike, bringing down Sunningdale Agreement, 1974; contrib. to drafted Ulster Workers' Council statement, with the sentence: ‘The Ulster workers’ strike is not an act of rebellion against a lawful authority, but a protest within the law against the denial of the rights of the democratic wishes of the majority of the Ulster people’; joined UUP in 1978; contrib. to Fortnight as Calvin McNee; critical of Molyneux’s faith in Thatcherism and staunch devolutionist; estab. With others the Ulster Society, 1985; contrib. to John McMichael’s Common Sense document, arguing for power-sharing; joined Ulster Clubs in opp. To Anglo-Irish Agreement; succeeded Harold McCusker in Upper Bann seat, 1990; when Haughey was officially welcomed to Belfast by Empey, Trimble led the roof-top protest in Glengall St., joined by Ian Paisley and [Peter] Robinson to join him; visited Dublin in 1996; refused invitations to Irish Embassy in London; initiated communication with IRA supporters in America, 1994; congratulated Orange marchers blocking Garvaghy Rd., 1995, purportedly to prevent Paisley gaining political leverage; with John Hume, winner of Nobel prize in Dec. 1998; threatened to resign as First Minister if IRA do not decommission, July 2001; resigned; failed to be elected in DUP wipe-out of UUP, gen. elections [2004]; created Lord Trimble of Lisnagarvey [Baron].

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Works
See infra For full text of  Antony Alcock Memorial Lecture / University of Ulster (24 April 2007) [infra].
Criticism
Henry McDonald, Trimble (London: Bloomsbury 2000), 342pp. [reviewed in The Irish Times, 26 Feb.2000]; Dean Godson, Himself Alone: The Life of David Trimble (London: Harper Collins 2004), 874pp.; Frank Millar, David Trimble: The Price of Peace (Dublin: Liffey Press 2004), 242pp.; Michael Kerr, Transforming Unionism: David Trimble and the UUP Election 2005: Doing the Decent Thing? (Blackrock: IAP 2005), 256pp.

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Commentary
Martin Mansergh, review of Henry McDonald, Trimble (London: Bloomsbury 2000), 342pp., in The Irish Times, 26th Feb. 2000, Weekend, p.9: Trimble learned from Sean O'Callaghan, Ruth Dudley Edwards, and Eoghan Harris as interpreters of nationalism; focused attention on opposition to Strand 2 of Agreement; described Unionist opponents to powersharing as ‘wooden-tops’. Mansergh concludes: ‘The statesman’s mantle will belong to those leaders who can make the new dispensation work, rather than those on any side who see their primary objective as being to defend their territory and checkmate or stalemate their opponents in the course of a long drawn-out series of political chess matches.’ [Biog. details as above.]

[q. auth.,]. The Irish Times, review of Henry McDonald, Trimble (2000), 26th Feb. 2000 [Weekend], p.9: Nobel prize in Dec. 1998; maternal descent from W. H. Jack, Unionist mayor of Derry and mbr. Of Carson’s UVF who trained at Finner Camp, Bundoran, and fought in WWI, 36th Ulster Div.; notes that pope Alex. VIII celebrated Boyne; name derived from Turnbull; pat. gf. RIC-man in Cavan; mother b. Bundoran; Foundation of Northern Ireland (1991) argues that an offer of 4 counties by nationalists in 1913 wd have avoided the Troubles; raised in Bangor; law lect. QUB; offended by civil rights protests in Derry; joined Vanguard with Reg Empey, David Burnside, Jim Wilson and Tony Alcock; close to William Craig; contacts with Andy Tyrie and paramilitaries; attacked Faulkner in Assembly Elections of 1973; promised that he would ‘not allow murderers and quislings to destroy Ulster and hand it over to Republicans’; disputed Desmond Boal’s theory of ‘federated Ireland’ with special safeguards for Protestants; assisted Loyalist Strike, bringing down Sunningdale Agreement, 1974; contrib. to drafted Ulster Workers’ Council statement, with the sentence: ‘The Ulster workers’ strike is not an act of rebellion against a lawful authority, but a protest within the law against the denial of the rights of the democratic wishes of the majority of the Ulster people’; joined UUP in 1978; contrib. to Fortnight as Calvin McNee; critical of Molyneux’s faith in Thatcherism and staunch devolutionist; estab. With others the Ulster Society, 1985; contrib. to John McMichael’s Common Sense document, arguing for power-sharing; joined Ulster Clubs in opp. To Anglo-Irish Agreement; succeeded Harold McCusker in Upper Bann seat, 1990; when Haughey was officially welcomed to Belfast by Empey, Trimble led the roof-top protest in Glengall St., permitting Paisley and Robinson to join him; visited Dublin in 1996; refused invitations to Irish Embassy in London but opened lines towards ceasefire with IRA supporters in America, 1994; congratulated Orange marchers who blocked Garvaghy Rd., 1995, purportedly to prevent Paisley gaining political leverage; learned from Sean O’Callaghan, Ruth Dudley Edwards, and Eoghan Harris as interpreters of nationalism; focused attention on opposition to Strand 2 of Agreement; described Unionist opponents to powersharing as ‘wooden-tops’. Martin Mansergh concludes: ‘The statesman’s mantle will belong to those leaders who can make the new dispensation work, rather than those on any side who see their primary objective as being to defend their territory and checkmate or stalemate their opponents in the course of a long drawn-out series of political chess matches.’ p. 162.

Notes
Lancet, Vol. 1 (1916) contains an obit. notice of ‘John Maxwell Trimble, M.D., M.Ch.Q.U.I., M.R.C.P.Irel., J.P’ [d.1915].p. 162.